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Inaugural Stella Prize shortlist announced

The shortlist for the inaugural Stella Prize has been announced.

The shortlisted titles are:

  • The Burial (Courtney Collins, A&U)
  • Questions of Travel (Michelle de Kretser, A&U)
  • The Sunlit Zone (Lisa Jacobson, Five Islands Press)
  • Like a House on Fire (Cate Kennedy, Scribe)
  • Sea Hearts (Margo Lanagan, A&U)
  • Mateship with Birds (Carrie Tiffany, Picador).


The winner of this year’s Stella Prize will be announced in Melbourne on 16 April. The winner will receive a cash prize of $50,000.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, 12 book were longlisted for the prize, which is presented for the best work of fiction or nonfiction by an Australian woman published in the previous calendar year. The organisers received close to 200 entries for this year’s prize.

Chair of the judging panel Kerryn Goldsworthy said the shortlist ‘features a wide variety of subject matter and genre’. ‘The list contains a collection of short stories and a verse novel; it includes fantasy, speculative fiction, two historical novels and one that has been described as Australian Gothic,’ said Goldsworthy. ‘There are stories set in the past, the present and the future; there are stories set in both urban and rural Australia as well as in other countries and imagined places.’

Goldsworthy also commented that the judges noticed a strong common theme in a number of the shortlisted books. ‘Sea Hearts, The Sunlit Zone and Mateship with Birds all explore in thoughtful, imaginative and unexpected ways the relationships and the boundaries between the human and the non-human, showing where those boundaries are weakest and might be broken down,’ she said.

While no nonfiction books appear on the shortlist, Goldsworthy said the judges were ‘glad to be able to longlist three [nonfiction books], chosen from a large field of entries in which fiction outnumbered nonfiction by almost four to one’.

The Stella Prize is named after Miles Franklin, whose first name was Stella, and was inspired by the UK Women’s Prize for Fiction, which was previously known as the Orange Prize for Fiction. Carrie Tiffany’s Mateship with Birds is also in the running for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction

The Stella Prize has also recently welcomed Sarina Gale to its team in the role of marketing coordinator. Gale, who previously worked as marketing coordinator for Text Publishing, is also a freelance writer and a bookseller at the Sun Bookshop in Yarraville, Victoria.

For more information about the Stella Prize and each of the shortlisted titles, visit the website here.



Category: Local news